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Finance: When does the goal post stop moving?

Rabat Gupta's story was the true definition of grass to grace. From the town of Kolkata India with almost nothing to his name, he became the CEO of McKinsey, the world's foremost consultant firm. He was handpicked by Bill Gates to be on the advisory board of Bill & Melinda Gates and was the former director of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble. It is fair to say, he was the toast of corporate America.

His immense success came with an impressive net worth. By 2008, at a time where many were suffering the effects of the Recession, Rabat was worth an estimated $100 million; a sum that not many can imagine having in their bank account. But Rajat wasn't satisfied, he wanted more. After all, he was friends with the upper echelon of American society, some of them billionaires and he wanted to be a member of the top 1%.

So what did he do? He found a new side hustle that made him quick millions and landed him in prison faster than you can say JACK ROBINSON.

Although he is now treading the long hard road to redemption, the question is, did any of this have to happen?

When is Enough ENOUGH?

Merriam Webster defines enough as "degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction. While it is clear to define "enough" in most areas of our life, our personal finance is an entirely different story. When it comes to how much we have or want in our back account, the answer is never specific and always changing.

Now, having ambition and striving for more isn't necessarily a wrong thing. In fact, it is innate in every person to do more and push past their limitations but the problem lies in not determining what personal contentment and success looks like.

Financial Contentment

Financial contentment means understanding that more material gain cannot bring you happiness. While there are studies showing that money can make you happier, that only happens up to the point where you can stop worrying about necessities, major life setbacks, and what to do in the occurrence of emergencies.

During his 7th 'Ask Me Anything' on Reddit, someone asked Bill Gates if he was happy. "I am happy" he said but "it's not my billions that make me happy." In his reply, Gates later explained that having strong relationships and time made him the happiest. This might not be the case for everyone but it is important to remember that money will make you happy but only to the point where you no longer have to worry about necessities, emergencies or any major financial setbacks.

Learning Financial Contentment

The steps are quite simple but can be difficult to follow:

1. Set realistic goals and work towards them. Write out your goals in a journal based on where you want to see yourself in a month or year from now. Make it realistic based on your current earning capacity and room for growth.

2. Keep friends with the same goals as you. Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.

Keep a circle of friends that don't judge you and keep you accountable.

Note: Don't forget to be that friend to someone too

3. Limit Comparison. It is close to impossible to completely stop comparing yourself to someone but it is possible to reduce it. Stay off social media if it helps and completely dedicate yourself to achieving your goals. Always celebrate others when they reach their milestones while recognizing that you are making progress.

3. Learn Money Management. I used to have a spending problem (still do but it is reduced now) and I realized that my spending was the source of my unhappiness and belief that I do not have enough. But after learning to manage my finances, I realized that I had more than I needed.

You can get an app that helps you manage your finances or document your income and expenses in a spreadsheet. This allows you to know exactly where your money is going and what mistakes you are making with spending.

Moral: Define what success means to you. This sounds obvious but it is actually the most difficult thing to do. As humans we sometimes measure our achievements subconsciously or not to our friends, family, colleagues, and even people we see on social media (if you use LinkedIn and see the countless number of people posting their achievements, you will understand what I mean).

When it seems that we are not moving at the same pace as others, it can make us discouraged or ignore the progress we have made so far along with the failures that continue to shape our actions. Take a look inward and understand what progress and success looks like for you.

Are you content as long as you can afford the necessities of life? Do you view success as being able to take care of your family with peace of mind? Or are you determined to climb to the very top of the corporate ladder?

Success looks different for everyone and it is only when you determine it that the goal post stops moving.

What does Success look like to you?

Let's connect in the comments.

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